2013 Fantasy Football Top 150

1. RB Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)

2. RB Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)

3. RB CJ Spiller (Buffalo)

4. RB Doug Martin (Tampa Bay)

5. RB Ray Rice (Baltimore)

6. RB Trent Richardson (Cleveland)

7. WR Calvin Johnson (Detroit)

8. RB LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia)

9. RB David Wilson (NY Giants)

10. RB Marshawn Lynch (Seattle)

11. RB Stevan Ridley (New England)

12. RB Alfred Morris (Washington)

13. RB Matt Forte (Chicago)

14. RB Maurice Jones-Drew (Jacksonville)

15. RB Arian Foster (Houston)

16. WR Dez Bryant (Dallas)

17. RB Chris Johnson (Tennessee)

18. QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)

19. QB Cam Newton (Carolina)

20. RB Eddie Lacy (Green Bay)

21. WR AJ Green (Cincinnati)

22. RB Reggie Bush (Detroit)

23. WR Demaryius Thomas (Denver)

24. WR Randall Cobb (Green Bay)

25. RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Indianapolis)

26. WR Julio Jones (Atlanta)

27. RB Frank Gore (San Francisco)

28. WR Brandon Marshall (Chicago)

29. RB Lamar Miller (Miami)

30. QB Drew Brees (New Orleans)

31. RB Steven Jackson (St. Louis)

32. QB Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco)

33. RB Darren McFadden (Oakland)

34. RB DeMarco Murray (Dallas)

35. WR Andre Johnson (Houston)

36. WR Jordy Nelson (Green Bay)

37. WR Victor Cruz (NY Giants)

38. WR Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City)

39. RB Chris Ivory (New Orleans)

40. RB Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati)

41. WR Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona)

42. TE Jimmy Graham (New Orleans)

43. RB Shane Vereen (New England)

44. RB Ryan Mathews (San Diego)

45. WR DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia)

46. WR Torrey Smith (Baltimore)

47. RB Mark Ingram (New Orleans)

48. WR Roddy White (Atlanta)

49. WR Vincent Jackson (Tampa Bay)

50. RB Darren Sproles (New Orleans)

[yard_barker]

51. QB Tom Brady (New England)

52. QB Russell Wilson (Seattle)

53. TE Rob Gronkowski (New England)

54. RB Daryl Richardson (St. Louis)

55. WR Marques Colston (New Orleans)

56. WR Cecil Shorts (Jacksonville)

57. WR Pierre Garcon (Washington)

58. WR Hakeem Nicks (NY Giants)

59. WR Mike Williams (Tampa Bay)

60. RB Andre Brown (NY Giants)

61. TE Greg Olsen (Carolina)

62. RB Rashard Mendenhall (Arizona)

63. WR Danny Amendola (St. Louis)

64. WR Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh)

65. QB Matt Stafford (Detroit)

66. TE Vernon Davis (San Francisco)

67. TE Jason Witten (Dallas)

68. QB Peyton Manning (Denver)

69. WR Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis)

70. WR Eric Decker (Denver)

71. RB DeAngelo Williams (Carolina)

72. QB Andrew Luck (Indianapolis)

73. QB Matt Ryan (Atlanta)

74. WR Steve Smith (Carolina)

75. RB Montee Ball (Denver)

76. WR Lance Moore (New Orleans)

77. WR TY Hilton (Indianapolis)

78. RB Ben Tate (Houston)

79. WR Steve Johnson (Buffalo)

80. WR Anquan Boldin (San Francisco)

81. WR Kenny Britt (Tennessee)

82. TE Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta)

83. RB Joique Bell (Detroit)

84. RB Le’Veon Bell (Pittsburgh)

85. WR Golden Tate (Seattle)

86. RB Isaac Redman (Pittsburgh)

87. QB Tony Romo (Dallas)

88. WR Mike Wallace (Miami)

89. RB Pierre Thomas (New Orleans)

90. WR Wes Welker (New England)

91. WR Miles Austin (Dallas)

92. WR Brian Hartline (Miami)

93. WR Michael Floyd (Arizona)

94. TE Brandon Myers (NY Giants)

95. WR Denarius Moore (Oakland)

96. WR Vincent Brown (San Diego)

97. RB Bernard Pierce (Baltimore)

98. WR Josh Gordon (Cleveland)

99. TE Jermichael Finley (Green Bay)

100. QB Robert Griffin (Washington)

101. RB Danny Woodhead (San Diego)

[google_ad]

102. TE Owen Daniels (Houston)

103. RB Fred Jackson (Buffalo)

104. TE Antonio Gates (San Diego)

105. RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Atlanta)

106. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Cincinnati)

107. WR Chris Givens (St. Louis)

108. RB Bryce Brown (Philadelphia)

109. WR Alshon Jeffery (Chicago)

110. WR Rod Streater (Oakland)

111. TE Jared Cook (St. Louis)

112. RB Stepfan Taylor (Arizona)

113. WR Jeremy Kerley (NY Jets)

114. WR Tavon Austin (St. Louis)

115. WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Indianapolis)

116. QB Eli Manning (NY Giants)

117. TE Fred Davis (Washington)

118. RB Knowshon Moreno (Denver)

119. WR Greg Jennings (Minnesota)

120. WR Nate Washington (Tennessee)

121. QB Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsbugh)

122. TE Martellus Bennett (Chicago)

123. WR Ryan Broyles (Detroit)

124. WR Sidney Rice (Seattle)

125. TE Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati)

126. WR Kenbrell Thompkins (New England)

127. WR Brandon LaFell (Carolina)

128. RB Bilal Powell (NY Jets)

129. QB Joe Flacco (Baltimore)

130. QB Jay Cutler (Chicago)

131. WR James Jones (Green Bay)

132. TE Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)

133. TE Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit)

134. TE Zach Sudfield (New England)

135. TE Marcedes Lewis (Jacksonville)

136. RB Jonathan Stewart (Carolina)

137. RB Vick Ballard (Indianapolis)

138. RB Shonn Greene (Tennessee)

139. WR Greg Little (Cleveland)

140. WR Andre Roberts (Arizona)

141. WR Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh)

142. RB Ronnie Hillman (Denver)

143. WR Kendall Wright (Tennessee)

144. TE Dwayne Allen (Indianapolis)

145. WR DeAndre Hopkins (Houston)

146. TE Travis Kelce (Kansas City)

147. TE Jordan Cameron (Cleveland)

148. TE Coby Fleener (Indianapolis)

149. RB Mike Tolbert (Carolina)

150. WR Mohamed Sanu (Cincinnati)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

2013 Fantasy Football Top-15 Tight Ends

1. TE Jimmy Graham (New Orleans)

Jimmy Graham was the Saints’ leading receiver in 2011, catching 99 passes for 1310 yards and 11 touchdowns, but injuries led to a league leading 15 drops in 2012 and he “only” caught 85 passes for 982 yards and 9 touchdowns in 15 games in 2012. He should get back over 1000 this season though.

Projection: 82 catches for 1020 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (156 pts standard, 238 pts PPR)

2. TE Rob Gronkowski (New England)

Sure he’s a major injury risk, but Gronkowski has scored 36 times in his last 35 games. He’s worth his current ADP in the 4th round even if you can only get 10-12 games out of him. Tight end is a deep enough position that you can get by with a TE2 for a few weeks, but it’s thin enough at the top that Gronk could easily lead the position in points per game played, as he has in each of the last 2 seasons.

Projection: 60 catches for 850 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns (145 pts standard, 205 pts PPR)

3. TE Greg Olsen (Carolina)

Greg Olsen was a 1st round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft and finally came into his own last season, catching a career high 69 passes for a career high 843 yards and 5 touchdowns, serving as a very good secondary receiver for Cam Newton, including 35 catches for 448 yards and 4 touchdowns in the 2nd half of the season. With Smith expected to decline a little and Newton expected to improve, Olsen could even surpass last year’s numbers.

Projection: 71 catches for 880 receiving yards 8 touchdowns (136 pts standard, 207 pts PPR)

4. TE Vernon Davis (San Francisco)

Vernon Davis caught just 41 passes for 548 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2012 and was even worse in the 2ndhalf of the year as he didn’t show any chemistry with new quarterback Colin Kaepernick, catching 16 passes for 174 yards and 1 touchdown in the final 8 games of the regular season. However, that changed in the post-season, as he caught 12 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown in 3 games. With another off-season working with Kaepernick, Davis should continue that kind of production and is the favorite to lead the team in receiving with Michael Crabtree out. He and Boldin are the only veteran receivers they have and Davis is simply more talented, younger, and more familiar with Kaepernick.

Projection: 58 catches for 900 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (132 pts standard, 190 pts PPR)

5. TE Jason Witten (Dallas)

Witten is one of the most dependable players in the NFL regardless of position. He hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year in 2003, signing a waiver to play through a ruptured spleen week 1 of last season and his worst season since his rookie year was 2006, when he still caught 64 passes for 754 yards and 1 touchdowns. Since 2004, his 2nd season in the league, he’s averaged 86 catches for 956 yards and 5 touchdowns per season and only going into his age 31 season coming off a career high in catches, I see no reason why that wouldn’t continue.

Projection: 88 catches for 980 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns (128 pts, 216 pts PPR)

6. TE Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta)

Tony Gonzalez, meanwhile, is even older, heading into his age 37 season and his 2.7 yards after catch per catch were even less than White’s. His mere 10.0 yards per catch also shows a lack of explosiveness and while he was a great possession receiver last year, he did have 13 fewer catches the year before and 23 fewer two years before that. I think it’s much more likely that his production falls off drastically than White’s.

Projection: 70 catches for 770 receiving yards 6 touchdowns (113 pts standard, 183 pts PPR)

7. TE Brandon Myers (NY Giants)

Giants tight ends always seem to be productive in the passing game, regardless of who they are. Tight ends coach Mike Pope is a big part of the reason for this, as is the offensive system and Eli Manning’s tendency to throw to the tight end. Myers caught 79 passes for 804 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 101 targets last season with Carson Palmer throwing him the ball. He could match that, or even exceed that.

Projection: 74 catches for 790 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (109 pts standard, 183 pts PPR)

8. TE Jermichael Finley (Green Bay)

Jermichael Finley closed last season very well, catching 26 catches for 279 yards in the final 5 games of the season, but we’ve seen in the past he’s capable of being dominant for a short stretch of time. What we haven’t seen is him maintain that level of play over a full season as his 2011 season, in which he caught 55 passes for 767 yards and 8 touchdowns, remains his best season in 5 years in the league. I don’t expect anything different from him as in 2013.

Projection: 57 catches for 690 receiving yards 6 touchdowns (105 pts standard, 162 pts PPR)

9. TE Owen Daniels (Houston)

Owen Daniels is a very good pass catching tight end when he’s on the field and he’s only missed 2 games of the past 2 seasons, after missing 13 in the previous 2. In a weaker year for tight ends, he’s offers good value. He should be around the 62 catches for 716 yards and 5 touchdowns he had last season.

Projection: 65 catches for 740 receiving yards 5 total touchdowns (104 pts standard, 169 pts PPR)

10. TE Antonio Gates (San Diego)

8/6/13: Gates gets a minor stock up with Alexander going down, but like Floyd I still don’t expect much.

Antonio Gates looks like he’s in the beginning of the end of his career. Despite plenty of opportunity, Gates managed just 49 catches for 538 yards and 7 touchdowns last season, despite actually playing in 15 games for the first time since 2009. He has a history of injury problems, missing 10 games in the last 3 seasons and being limited in countless others and, going into his age 33 season, it looks like it’s all caught up with him. He’s unlikely to improve much upon those numbers. His biggest impact will be around the goal line, as he’s still managed 24 touchdowns over 38 games over the last 3 seasons. He hasn’t had fewer than 7 touchdowns since his rookie year in 2003.

Projection: 54 catches for 610 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns (103 pts standard, 157 pts PPR)

11. TE Jared Cook (St. Louis)

Jared Cook was underutilized in Tennessee and put up good per snap numbers as a receiver despite never really having great quarterback play. He has 1718 career receiving yards on 1057 career routes run, a rate of 1.63 yards per route run. For comparison, Owen Daniels had 1.63 yards per route run this season, good for 11th in the NFL. However, he doesn’t block, which is a big part of the reason why he was only a part-time player in Tennessee and he’s still relatively unproven. The Rams are paying a lot of money to find out if he can be an elite tight end in the right situation. They’ll give him every opportunity to live up to his contract, but I don’t think he will.

Projection: 45 catches for 700 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns (100 pts standard, 145 pts PPR)

12. TE Fred Davis (Washington)

Tight end Fred Davis went down with a season ending torn Achilles early in their 7th game of the season. He was brought back on a one year prove it deal that could pay dividends if he’s healthy. He’s only played in 18 full games over the past 2 seasons thanks to injury and suspension, but he has caught 82 passes for 1110 yards and 3 touchdowns in those 18 games, despite playing 12 of them with Rex Grossman as his quarterback. We’ll see how he bounces back after his injury, but he has great natural receiving ability.

Projection: 55 catches for 750 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns (99 pts standard, 154 pts PPR)

13. TE Martellus Bennett (Chicago)

Bennett was a 2nd round pick in 2008 by the Cowboys, but he was stuck as a pure blocker behind Jason Witten in 4 years in Dallas. However, he excelled as a blocker and then in his first year as a starter with the Giants, he caught 55 passes for 626 yards and 5 touchdowns. He’s not a great pass catcher, but he’s one of the best all-around tight ends in the NFL. He should have similar receiving numbers this season.

Projection: 50 catches for 600 receiving yards 6 touchdowns (96 pts standard, 146 pts PPR)

14. TE Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati)

Gresham has made 2 Pro Bowls in his career, but he’s an overrated player who drops a lot of passes (10 last year, including 2 in their playoff loss), commits a lot of penalties (9), and doesn’t run block well. The Bengals brought in Tyler Eifert for that reason and will run more two-tight end sets, which will cut into Gresham’s targets. Look elsewhere.

Projection: 53 catches for 650 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (95 pts, 148 pts PPR)

15. TE Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)

In his 3rd year in the league, Rudolph could more than the 53 passes he caught last season and could average more than 9.3 yards per catch, but he’s unlikely to score a touchdown on 16.9% of his catches, especially on a team that scored just 18 touchdowns through the air last season (Rudolph had 9). Don’t get suckered in with the touchdown numbers. He’s a talented tight end, but his quarterback situation makes him a mere TE2.

Projection: 57 catches for 600 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (90 pts standard, 147 pts PPR)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

2013 Fantasy Football Top-30 Wide Receivers

1. WR Calvin Johnson (Detroit)

Another one of the other weird statistical things about the Lions in 2012 was Calvin Johnson sitting the single season receiving record (surpassing Jerry Rice in week 16 no less), but scoring just 5 times. That total should increase for some of the same reasons that Stafford’s should. He probably won’t have a record setting season again, but he’s by far the best receiver on a team that passes a ridiculous amount, has a good young quarterback, and doesn’t have a lot of other passing options. He’s consistently able to beat double and triple teams and the 96 catches for 1681 yards he had in 2011 now seem like a floor. He should have around 1700 receiving yards again and almost definitely will break double digit touchdowns again.

Projection: 110 catches for 1750 receiving yards 12 touchdowns (247 pts standard, 357 pts PPR)

2. WR Dez Bryant (Dallas)

Bryant has always had all the talent in the world and, as is often the case with wide receivers, he finally put everything together in his 3rd year in the league in 2012, catching 92 passes for 1382 yards and 12 touchdowns and playing in all 16 games for the first time. He also closed 2012 incredibly well, catching 50 passes for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns in his final 8 games. This off-season has actually been his first without any sort of off the field distraction so he could be even better in 2013. He finally seems to have turned a corner.

Projection: 94 catches for 1440 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns (216 pts, 310 pts PPR)

3. WR AJ Green (Cincinnati) 

AJ Green has blossomed into one of probably the top-3 wide receivers in the league before even entering the magical wide receiver 3rd year breakout year. He’s one of the top fantasy receivers (and real life receivers) in the game and I don’t see any reason why this year should be any different for him.

Projection: 100 catches for 1400 receiving yards 10 touchdowns (200 pts, 300 pts PPR)

4. WR Demaryius Thomas (Denver)

Thomas also broke out in 2012, catching 94 passes for 1430 yards and 10 touchdowns. He might not reach those numbers again, but Welker’s presence won’t eat too much into his targets as he operates in a completely different part of the field, serving as the primary deep threat. Decline by Peyton Manning as he ages is more of a threat to Thomas than anything, but he remains a WR1.

Projection: 85 catches for 1300 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns (196 pts standard, 281 pts PPR)

5. WR Randall Cobb (Green Bay)

Randall Cobb is going in his 3rd year in the league, a frequent breakout year for receivers and there’s definitely to possibility of a breakout for him. Cobb was 11th in the NFL among eligible wide receivers averaging 2.26 yards per route run, so he was an incredibly efficient target. However, he needs to cut down on the drops (of the 22 incompletions Rodgers threw to him, 11 were drops) and he needs to show more on the outside for the Packers to give him more snaps. I like his chances with Jennings gone, Nelson hurt, and Jones possibly losing playing time to the superior Cobb. Cobb might be a healthier Percy Harvin with a better quarterback. You can always count on him to get you another extra 100 yards on the ground too.

Projection: 93 catches for 1130 receiving yards 11 total touchdowns 10 carries for 100 yards (189 pts standard, 282 pts PPR)

6. WR Julio Jones (Atlanta)

Julio Jones is heading into his 3rd year in the league, a year when receivers tend to break out, as if a receiver who caught 79 passes for 1198 yards and 10 touchdowns in his age 23 season could break out any more. I expect him to be their leading receiver though.

Projection: 80 catches for 1240 receiving yards 10 touchdowns (184 pts standard, 264 pts PPR)

7. WR Brandon Marshall (Chicago)

After Brandon Marshall, who caught 118 passes for 1508 yards and 11 touchdowns on 181 attempts, no one else on the Bears had more than 44 catches (Matt Forte), 375 yards (Earl Bennett), 3 touchdowns (Alshon Jeffery), or 59 targets (Forte). Marshall was targeted on an absurd 181 on 462 aimed passes, 39.2%. That makes your passing game so predictable and one dimensional and is a big part of reason why 7 of the team’s 16 interceptions came on throws to Marshall. This year, there’s more talent around Marshall, which could hurt his production (though not too much as the Bears will pass more and he’ll see fewer triple teams), but it’ll definitely help their offense as a whole.

Projection: 91 catches for 1250 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (179 pts standard, 270 pts PPR)

8. WR Andre Johnson (Houston)

The Texans got a vintage year from Andre Johnson in 2012, as he caught 112 passes for 1598 yards and 4 touchdowns, leading the NFL in yards per route run with 3.01 and ranking 2nd in the NFL in yards overall behind Calvin Johnson (who played over 200 more pass snaps). Those yards were actually a career high and those catches were 2nd in his career, pretty impressive considering he has 818 catches for 11,254 yards over 10 seasons. It was also unexpected considering he was 31 years old and coming off a season in which he played in just 7 games with injury. However, Johnson has still missed 12 games in the last 3 seasons and is going into his age 32 season. The concerns about him before last season had merit. They just didn’t prove to be an issue, but they could be this season. He’s also never had double digit touchdowns and scored just 4 times last season.

Projection: 91 catches for 1300 receiving yards 7 total touchdowns (172 pts standard, 263 pts PPR)

9. WR Victor Cruz (NY Giants)

Cruz didn’t match the 82 catches for 1536 yards and 9 touchdowns he had in 2011, but it would have been unreasonable to expect him to do that. He still caught 86 passes for 1092 yards and 10 touchdowns and he could do even better than that this season. His one issue last season was his 12 drops.

Projection: 84 catches for 1170 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (171 pts standard, 255 pts PPR)

10. WR Dwayne Bowe (Kansas City)

Bowe caught just 59 passes for 801 yards and 3 touchdowns in 13 games in 2012, the 2nd worst season of his career, but that’s actually pretty impressive considering his quarterback play. Now he gets to play in a pass heavy offense under Andy Reid with arguably the best quarterback he’s ever played with (compared to Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, Tyler Thigpen, Matt Cassel, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton, and Brady Quinn) and he’s a great fit for a West Coast offense. He’s quietly one of the better receivers in the NFL in Kansas City and the arrow is definitely pointing up for him. He could surpass his career highs of 86 catches (2008) and 1162 yards (2010), though the 15 touchdowns he caught in 2010 remain largely a fluke.

Projection: 88 catches for 1220 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns (170 pts standard, 258 pts PPR)

11. WR Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona)

One of the great receivers of his generation, Larry Fitzgerald has sadly never really had great quarterback play, except for those couple Warner years, but he’s always produced. Last year, however, was too much for even him to handle as Arizona’s pathetic quarterback play limited him to 71 catches for 798 yards and a career low 4 touchdowns. From 2005-2011, Fitzgerald averaged 94 catches for 1309 yards and 10 touchdowns per 16 games and he’s only missed 4 games with injury in his career. Carson Palmer isn’t great or anything, but he should be able to allow Fitzgerald to bounce back in a big way and approach those averages.

Projection: 80 catches for 1200 receiving yards 8 touchdowns (168 pts standard, 248 pts PPR)

12. WR DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia)

7/28/13: With Maclin going down for the season, DeSean Jackson should see an increase in targets. He’s currently the 32nd wide receiver off the board on average, going in the 7th or 8th round range, but he should be his team’s leading receiver by far and he’ll give you added value on the ground as well. He’s a nice value.

Jackson has rushed just 54 times in his career in 5 seasons, going for 371 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he could see that number increase this season as he’s expected to be used somewhat in that DeAnthony Thomas role. He won’t get a ton of carries, but the Eagles will do a lot of things to get the ball in his hands because of his speed. He’ll probably also see more short throws and screens than he normally does, as they attempt to get him the ball in space, and could easily surpass his career high 62 receptions, though he probably won’t reach his career 17.5 yards per reception average.

Projection: 67 catches for 1000 receiving yards 8 total touchdowns 25 carries for 170 rushing yards (165 pts standard, 232 pts PPR)

13. WR Torrey Smith (Baltimore)

7/28/13: Smith gets a stock up with Pitta going down because he’s really their only reliable receiver remaining. The Ravens are really hoping that the talented young receiver finally puts everything together and has a breakout year in his 3rd year in the league and even if he doesn’t take a big leap forward in terms of his play, he should have a much better statistical year based purely on the sheer number of targets he’ll receive.

The Ravens will need Torrey Smith to step up opposite him as the new #1 receiver with Anquan Boldin gone. Smith has flashed in his first two years in the league after the Ravens took him in the 2nd round in 2011, catching 50 passes for 841 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2011 and 49 passes for 855 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2012, but he’s yet to put it all together as a consistent receiver and something more than just an inconsistent deep threat. However, going into his 3rd year in the league, a year when young receivers typically breakout, he’s got a very good chance to. With Boldin gone, he should get a career high in targets and have his best statistical season, possibly going over 1000 yards.

Projection: 63 catches for 1100 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns (164 pts standard, 227 pts PPR)

14. WR Roddy White (Atlanta)

Roddy White is heading into his age 32 season, so some statistical drop off is to be expected. He’s already noticeably less explosive than he was in his prime and he averaged just 3.6 yards average catch per catch last season. He’s much more of a possession receiver than anything else at this point in his career, though a very good one at that.

Projection: 85 catches for 1200 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (162 pts standard, 247 pts PPR)

15. WR Jordy Nelson (Green Bay)

Jordy Nelson caught 68 passes for 1263 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2011 and was off to an equally good season in 2012. Nelson caught 40 passes for 532 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in the first 7 games of last season. That’s 91 catches for 1216 yards and 11 touchdowns over 16 games. However, a hamstring problem cost him 4 games and limited him in others. There was definitely bounce back potential, but he recently needed knee surgery and, however minor it was, it’s never what you want to hear. His status for week 1 is now doubtful. I still expect a bounce back year somewhat, but it hurts his stock.

Projection: 78 catches for 1080 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (162 pts standard, 240 pts PPR)

16. WR Vincent Jackson (Tampa Bay)

The Buccaneers signed Vincent Jackson to a 5-year 55.5 million dollar contract last off-season that appeared risky at the time. Jackson, who had previously held out 10 games because he wanted to get paid, appeared to just be chasing the money going to Tampa Bay and could have easily just coasted. He was also going into his age 29 season so he was on the downside of his prime and probably wouldn’t get any better. However, Jackson somehow turned in the best season of his career, catching 72 passes for 1384 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Projection: 65 catches for 1200 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (162 pts standard, 227 pts PPR)

17. WR Marques Colston (New Orleans)

Marques Colston gets a reputation for being injury prone and he has had a bunch of knee surgeries, but he’s only missed 10 games in 7 seasons and he’s been nothing if not reliable. With the exception of 2008 (when he played a career low 11 games), he’s caught 70 passes for 1000 yards and 7 touchdowns in every season of his career. Last season, he once again had big time production, catching 83 passes for 1132 yards and 10 touchdowns while not missing a game. He’s only 30 and he has great chemistry with Drew Brees so he should once again be Drew Brees’ top receiver.

Projection: 80 catches for 1070 receiving yards 8 touchdowns (155 pts standard, 235 pts PPR)

18. WR Cecil Shorts (Jacksonville)

Shorts averaged 2.31 yards per route run last season, 8th in the NFL behind Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Michael Crabtree, Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Vincent Jackson, and AJ Green. In his 9 starts, he caught 47 passes for 774 yards and 5 touchdowns, which extrapolates to 84 catches for 1386 yards and 9 touchdowns over 16 games. He probably won’t reach those aforementioned extrapolated stats because defenses will key in on him more this year, but he has a very good chance to be Jacksonville’s first 1000 yard receiver since Jimmy Smith in 2005.

Projection: 70 catches for 1100 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (152 pts standard, 222 pts PPR)

19. WR Pierre Garcon (Washington)

Despite playing through injuries, Garcon had 633 yards on 215 routes run last season, good for 2.94 yards per route run, 2nd in the NFL among eligible wide receivers behind Andre Johnson. He was targeted 63 times, giving him a very impressive yard per target rate of over 10 per and with 63 targets on 215 routes run, he was by far Robert Griffin’s favorite target to throw to when he was on the field. Griffin was also very efficient when throwing to him, completing 69.8% of his passes for 10.0 YPA, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception, a QB rating of 116.7, 14th in the NFL among eligible wide receivers. It’s clear that Garcon has a ton of upside in his role in Washington’s offense. As long as he and Griffin can stay healthy, they he can put up big numbers. It’s a risk, but there’s a ton of upside here.

Projection: 70 catches for 1100 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (152 pts standard, 222 pts PPR)

20. WR Hakeem Nicks (NY Giants)

Nicks essentially missed 4 games last season and was limited in others, catching just 53 passes for a career low 692 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, remember, he averaged 78 catches for 1122 yards and 9 touchdowns per season in 2010 and 2011 despite missing 4 combined games in those 2 seasons. He’s never played a full 16 game set and I wouldn’t expect that to change this season, but I like his chances to get back over 1000 yards and give the Giants two 1000 yard receivers.

Projection: 71 catches for 1020 receiving yards 8 touchdowns (150 pts standard, 221 pts PPR)

21. WR Mike Williams (Tampa Bay)

Jackson’s presence reinvigorated Mike Williams, who no longer had to deal with opponent’s #1 cornerbacks. Williams himself also deserves credit for getting himself back into shape after a miserable 2nd season in the league in 2011. All of this led to the 2010 4th round pick totaling 63 catches for 996 yards and 9 touchdowns opposite Jackson. Williams was 4 yards away from giving the Buccaneers two 1000 yard receivers, something only Denver (Thomas/Decker), New Orleans (Colston/Moore), Atlanta (White/Jones), and Dallas (Bryant/Witten) could also say.

Projection: 65 catches for 1000 receiving yards 8 touchdowns (148 pts standard, 213 pts PPR)

22. WR Danny Amendola (New England)

I won’t project Amendola to match the 112 catches Welker averaged per season in New England. Welker’s biggest advantage over Amendola is his sturdiness. Welker missed just 3 games in 6 seasons with the Patriots, while Amendola has played in just 42 of 64 possible games to this point in his career. On top of that, Welker’s greatest talent was his chemistry with Tom Brady and that’s something Amendola might not necessarily have. Welker was never a big touchdown threat either, scoring an average of 6.2 times per season in 6 years. However, he’ll clearly be a big part of the offense should he stay healthy.

Projection: 100 catches for 1100 receiving yards and 6 total touchdowns (146 pts standard, 246 pts PPR)

23. WR Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh)

Brown caught 42 passes for 499 yards in the first 8 games of last season, continuing where he left off the previous season, when he caught 35 passes for 677 yards in the final 8 games of the season. However, injuries to Roethlisberger and his own personal injuries slowed him down in the 2nd half of last season. Still, he doesn’t have a history of injury issues and he’s the clear #1 receiver now. He’s never really been a touchdown guy, catching just 7 touchdowns in his first 3 seasons in the league, but with Mike Wallace gone that should change.

Projection: 78 catches for 1030 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (145 pts standard, 223 pts PPR)

24. WR Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis)

Wayne turns 35 this November. Over the next 2-4 years, Wayne can be expected to go from top flight receiver to complementary player to gone. That’s just what happens to receivers around this age. Even the average top-20 receiver (in terms of yardage all-time) has his last 1000 yard season at age 34-35, averages 48 catches for 594 yards and 3 touchdowns for 2 more seasons after age 34-35, and is done playing by age 36-37. Wayne already showed some signs of slowing down in the 2nd half of last season, catching “just” 45 passes for 520 yards and 2 touchdowns. He could have another big year, but let him be someone else’s problem.

Projection: 75 catches for 1020 receiving yards 6 touchdowns (138 pts standard, 213 pts PPR)

25. WR Eric Decker (Denver)

After largely being a non-factor in his first 2 years in the league, the 2010 3rd round pick Decker caught 85 passes for 1064 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. However, Wes Welker will eat much more into his targets than Demaryius Thomas so I don’t expect him to reach those numbers again.

Projection: 70 catches for 900 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns (138 pts standard, 208 pts PPR)

26. WR Steve Smith (Carolina)

Steve Smith remains the #1 receiver, catching 73 passes for 1174 yards and 4 touchdowns, but it’s unclear how much longer he can do that for, as he’s going into his age 34 season. Over the next 2-4 years, Smith can be expected to go from top flight receiver to complementary player to gone. That’s just what happens to receivers around this age. Even the average top-20 receiver (in terms of yardage all-time) has his last 1000 yard season at age 34-35, averages 48 catches for 594 yards and 3 touchdowns for 2 more seasons after age 34-35, and is done playing by age 36-37.

Projection: 62 catches for 1020 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (132 pts standard, 194 pts PPR)

27. WR Lance Moore (New Orleans)

Lance Moore had 1000 yards last year, catching 65 passes for 1041 yards and 6 touchdowns. He’s an underrated receiver who has the talent to be an incredibly productive receiver when he has an opportunity and the starting job opposite Colston is all his, but he’s had a history of injuries, so that’s a concern.

Projection: 60 catches for 880 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (130 pts standard, 190 pts PPR)

28. WR TY Hilton (Indianapolis)

8/26/13: It doesn’t look like TY Hilton is going to beat out veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey for a starting job. Hilton had 26 catches for 506 yards and 5 touchdowns in his final 8 games last season, despite making just 1 start, but the Colts are planning on using more two-tight end sets and fewer three-wide receiver sets this season with Bruce Arians gone and Pep Hamilton coming in. They also won’t emphasis the deep passing game as much as they did last season, when Luck led the NFL in pass attempts 20+ yards downfield through the air, which is where Hilton wins as a route runner. He could still beat out DHB at some point this season and I think he’d be a better pick for the starting job, but he’s being overdrafted at his current ADP in the 6th round.

Since 2005, 28 receivers have gone in the 1st round. They’ve averaged 40 catches for 557 yards and 3 touchdowns per season. I don’t have the numbers for the descending rounds, but they are almost definitely lower. And Hilton, a 3rd round rookie, greatly exceeded these first round numbers, catching 50 passes for 861 yards and 7 touchdowns. In his 2nd year in the league, he should improve on those numbers. Donnie Avery is gone so Hilton is expected to be a starter and Reggie Wayne is aging. In his final 8 games of last season, he caught 26 passes for 506 yards and 5 touchdowns in his final 8 games, almost more yardage than Reggie Wayne. He’s a dark horse to lead this team in receiving.

Projection: 58 catches for 940 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (130 pts standard, 188 pts PPR)

29. WR Steve Johnson (Buffalo)

Johnson has been very consistent with 82/1073/10, 76/1004/7, and 79/1046/6 seasons and hasn’t missed a game despite playing through various ailments, but he could see his numbers dip this season. He has a raw rookie quarterback and the Bills will run more. He’s largely a volume receiver, averaging 138 targets per season, but could see that drop down to 120 this season.

Projection: 63 catches for 900 receiving yards 6 touchdowns (126 pts standard, 189 pts PPR)

30. WR Anquan Boldin (San Francisco)

Anquan Boldin had a great post-season last year and is their #1 wide receiver after the injury to Michael Crabtree, but he’ll probably be overdrafted. He turns 33 in October and while his production has been hanging in the 837-921 yard range over the last 3 seasons, I think it’s unlikely he gets across that 1000 yard threshold this year and he certainly won’t match Michael Crabtree’s 1105 yards. Vernon Davis is a better bet to lead the 49ers in receiving yards.

Projection: 65 catches for 880 receiving yards 6 touchdowns (124 pts standard, 189 pts PPR)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

2013 Fantasy Football Top-30 Running Backs

1. RB Jamaal Charles (Kansas City)

Jamaal Charles’ career 5.8 YPC is most all-time of backs with more than 500 career carries. Sure, he’s had just 784 carries in 5 seasons: but remember who he’s had as Head Coaches, Herm Edwards, Todd Haley, and Romeo Crennel. While Andy Reid hates to run the football, when he does, he’s faithful to one back and his playbook has enough passes to backs that Charles should be able to surpass his career high of 320 touches in a season. He’ll catch plenty of Alex Smith check downs and is a solid bet to catch 55-60 passes. He’ll also see more goal line touches, more consistent work, and more room to run on a team that can actually move the football through the air this season. He’s another year removed from that ACL tear and he’s the clear lead back. He was 5th in the NFL in yards from scrimmage last season and he’s my pick to lead the NFL in that category this season, as Brian Westbrook did under Reid in 2007.

Projection: 280 carries for 1540 rushing yards, 10 total touchdowns, 58 catches for 470 yards (261 pts standard, 319 pts PPR)

2. RB Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)

Of the 28 other players to ever rush for 1700+ yards in a season, only 3 exceeded their rushing total the following season. The average 1700+ yard rusher rushed for 615 fewer yards the following season. Sure, some of them got seriously hurt, but it’s not like it would be impossible for Peterson to do so and even when you take out the 4 players who didn’t make it to 200 carries the following season, they still averaged 474 yards fewer the following season. On top of that, those players also averaged 7/10ths of a yard fewer per carry, going from 5.1 yards per carry to 4.4 yards per carry. Now, Peterson is definitely not going to have a bad year. In fact, he’s still my pick to lead the NFL in rushing, but you can lead the NFL in rushing with 1600 yards.

Projection: 320 carries for 1630 rushing yards 12 total touchdowns 35 catches for 240 receiving yards (259 pts standard, 294 pts PPR)

3. RB CJ Spiller (Buffalo)

New Head Coach Doug Marrone was one of the run heaviest coaches in College Football, running more than they passed in all 4 seasons as Syracuse’s Head Coach, and they want to make life as easy as possible for Manuel. CJ Spiller will be the workhorse, playing every down including on the goal line, and the Buffalo website predicted he could see 30 touches per game. That would be an absurd 480 touches over the course of the season. That won’t happen, as is often the case with lofty touch expectations for backs because some games just force you to throw out your game plan and pass more than you’d like.

However, Marrone said he wants to feed Spiller the ball “until he throws up” and he runs a very up tempo fast paced offense so he’ll definitely get 30 touches in some games. 360 touches (300 carries and 60 catches) over the season wouldn’t be absurd. Spiller certainly has plenty of talent. He’s averaged 5.4 yards per carry in his career, including a ridiculous 6.0 yards per carry last season. He was 6th in the NFL with 1703 yards from scrimmage despite just 250 touches. He probably won’t maintain his rates because that’s near impossible for anyone to maintain, especially getting as many touches as Spiller is expected to, but all signs are pointing to the 9th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft being one of the NFL leaders in all-purpose yardage and having a Pro-Bowl breakout year.

Projection: 290 carries for 1480 rushing yards and 10 total touchdowns 55 catches for 500 receiving yards (258 pts standard, 313 pts PPR)

4. RB Doug Martin (Tampa Bay)

While Martin did catch 49 passes as a rookie, the most impressive thing he did, by far, is rush for 1454 yards and 11 touchdowns on 319 carries, emerging as a true, complete feature back from the word go. As is the case with all running backs, his ability to replicate that in 2013 is dependent on whether or not he stays healthy. He does have a history of injuries from his days at Boise State, but he was still an incredible find with the 31st pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, after the Buccaneers traded back into the first to grab him, jumping ahead of the Giants, who were ready to take him one spot later.

Projection: 300 carries for 1350 rushing yards 12 total touchdowns 50 catches for 450 rushing yards (252 pts standard, 302 pts PPR)

5. RB Ray Rice (Baltimore)

Ray Rice’s 257 carries in 2012 were his lowest since 253, when Willis McGahee was still around. With Bernard Pierce coming on as a very capable backup, that number could be even lower this season. The good news, however, is that Rice averaged a career high 5.3 YPC in 2009 when his carries were lower and Pierce’s presence will help him stay fresh. Also with Anquan Boldin gone, expect Rice’s catch total to be closer to his career high of 78 than his 4-year low of 61 in 2010. The only concern is if the bigger Pierce starts taking away goal line carries, but there are no indications that will happen.

Projection: 240 carries for 1130 rushing yards 10 total touchdowns 75 catches for 650 yards (238 pts standard, 313 pts PPR)

6. RB Trent Richardson (Cleveland)

8/27/13: So much for him being injury prone. Trent Richardson is, by all accounts, having a phenomenal pre-season and Training Camp and has gotten himself down to 225 pounds and in phenomenal shape. With Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator, he’s locked into a massive workload and should surpass the 318 touches he had last season. He averaged just 3.6 yards per carry last year thanks to injuries sapping his effectiveness, but he’s much more talented than that and he has a very strong offensive line in front of him.

Richardson struggled as a rookie through injuries, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on 267 carries, though he did catch 51 passes and score 12 times on an overall miserable offense. Now, Richardson is struggling through injuries once again this off-season. Richardson certainly has the talent to be one of the best running back in the NFL, but the question isn’t with his talent. It’s whether or not he can stay healthy.

Projection: 280 carries for 1260 rushing yards 11 total touchdowns 56 catches for 450 receiving yards (237 pts standard, 293 pts PPR)

7. RB LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia)

McCoy had a very solid stretch from 2010-2011, missing just 2 games and rushing for 2389 yards and 24 touchdowns on 480 carries, with 126 catches for 907 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns. He looked like one of the best and most complete backs in the NFL. However, in 2012, he struggled along with the rest of the Eagles’ offense, rushing for just 840 yards on 200 carries, catching 54 passes for 373 yards and scoring just 5 total times, only twice on the ground. He also missed 4 games with injury. He should bounce back this year.

Projection: 250 carries for 1150 rushing yards 10 total touchdowns 58 catches for 470 yards (222 pts standard, 280 pts PPR)

8. RB Marshawn Lynch (Seattle)

Marshawn Lynch has completely revitalized his career in Seattle. He struggled in his first season in Seattle, with the exception of the beast mode run in the post-season against the Saints, averaging just 3.5 yards per carry, but in 2011, he averaged 4.2 yards per carry on 285 carries with 12 touchdowns. In 2012, he improved that to 5.0 yards per carry on 315 carries with another 11 touchdowns as Russell Wilson’s arm and rushing ability took the defense’s attention off of Lynch. His only real flaw is he’s caught just 51 passes in the last 2 seasons. I don’t see why Lynch can’t do something similar again in 2013, though he may see slightly fewer carries heading into his age 27 season as the Seahawks used a 2nd round pick on a running back in Christine Michael.

Projection: 280 carries for 1320 rushing yards 11 total touchdowns 25 catches for 190 receiving yards (217 pts standard, 242 pts PPR)

9. RB Stevan Ridley (New England)

In his first year as a starter, Stevan Ridley rushed for 1263 yards and 12 touchdowns on 290 attempts last season. The Patriots could run even more this season, missing weapons in the passing game, but still planning on running the NFL’s fastest pace. He has a great offensive supporting cast and should continue to put up big rushing numbers. He just doesn’t give you anything in the passing game.

Projection: 300 carries for 1350 rushing yards 12 total touchdowns 7 catches for 50 receiving yards (212 pts standard, 219 pts PPR)

10. RB Alfred Morris (Washington)

It can be easy to forget because of what Robert Griffin did, but RG3 wasn’t the Redskins’ only rookie sensation. 6th round rookie Alfred Morris surprisingly won the starting job week 1 and did his best Terrell Davis impression for the rest of the season, rushing for 1613 yards and 13 touchdowns on 335 attempts. However, Morris owes a lot of his success to Griffin taking the attention off of him. Defenses had to focus on Griffin’s arm strength and running ability and, as a result, Morris had a lot of running room in their read option offense. Credit Morris for his vision, intelligence, and for wasting no movement, but it’s definitely worth noting that Morris rushed for just 3.2 yards per carry without Griffin against Cleveland. Morris’ running success will largely be tied to Griffin’s success and Morris also provides very little on passing downs, catching just 11 passes for 77 yards.

Projection: 300 carries for 1320 rushing yards 11 total touchdowns 10 catches for 70 yards (205 pts standard, 215 pts PPR)

11. RB Matt Forte (Chicago)

Forte has missed just 7 games in 5 seasons (though they’ve all been in the last 2 seasons) and totaled 1529 touches (1262 carries, 267 receptions) in 75 games, 20.4 per game. He’s averaged 4.2 yards per carry and with more complementary offensive talent around him, he could see that number increase this season. As long as he doesn’t get hurt (always the caveat for running backs) or prematurely age going into his age 28 season, he should have another solid season.

Projection: 250 carries for 1100 rushing yards 9 total touchdowns 50 catches for 400 yards (204 pts standard, 254 pts PPR)

[google_ad]

12. RB Maurice Jones Drew (Jacksonville)

MJD returns from an injury plagued season in which he played just 6 games and saw just 86 carries before going down with a foot injury. It’s possible he could bounce back this season, but he is going into his age 28 season and after all the work he had from 2009-2011 (1084 touches), it’s possible he’ll never be the same back again. He’s still suffering through lingering effects of that injury.

Projection: 250 carries for 1150 rushing yards 8 total touchdowns 50 catches for 370 yards (200 pts standard, 250 pts PPR)

13. RB Arian Foster (Houston)

Arian Foster averaged a career low 4.1 yards per carry in 2012, thanks to the loss of two starting offensive linemen. His YPC has been trended down since he lost fullback Vonta Leach and he’s also had a lot of work over the past few years. he’s had 1115 regular season touches, plus another 128 post-season touches.

Last season, he led the NFL with 351 carries which is bad news for his 2013. Since 1988, only 4 of 24 running backs who led the league in carries surpassed their rushing yards total the following season. In that time period, backs who lead the league in carries have averaged 367.7 carries per season, rushed for 1620.4 yards, and scored 14.3 touchdowns. The following season, they averaged 266.0 carries per season, rushed for 1063.5 yards, and scored 8.9 touchdowns. Foster is already nursing a calf injury in Training Camp. He’s also seen his catches drop from 66 to 53 to 40 over the past 3 seasons. Let him be someone else’s problem.

Projection: 260 carries for 1040 rushing yards 11 total touchdowns 38 catches for 300 yards (200 pts standard, 238 pts PPR)

14. RB Chris Johnson (Tennessee)

An improved offensive line has to be music to Chris Johnson’s ears because of how reliant on a good offensive line he is. He’s incredibly explosive through holes, but when there aren’t holes, he doesn’t do a lot to help himself, frequently dancing around in the backfield, and getting little after contact. It’s why he has such good games against bad run defenses and bad games against good run defenses. He’s as good as anyone in the NFL when the hole is there though so he could have a very good season. He could see fewer carries, but only slightly with Shonn Greene coming in. Unless he steals a bunch of touchdowns, he won’t hurt Johnson’s production too much. Johnson is also active in the passing game, catching 230 passes in 5 years and he’s missed just 1 game in his career.

Projection: 250 carries for 1200 rushing yards 7 total touchdowns 44 catches for 340 receiving yards (196 pts standard, 240 pts PPR)

15. RB Eddie Lacy (Green Bay)

8/27/13: DuJuan Harris is out for the season with a knee injury. He was Lacy’s only real competition for carries. Fellow rookie Johnathan Franklins has appeared overmatched thus far, while neither Alex Green nor James Starks is very good. Lacy is still a rookie and he’s still on a pass heavy offense, but he has plenty of talent and he’ll have plenty of room to run and goal line opportunities on Green Bay’s talented offense. He’s a RB2 that could be drafted in the 2nd round if you want to double up on backs.

Eddie Lacy appears to be the favorite to be the lead back by a good margin. It’s tough to count on rookies, but Lacy has serious scoring potential in Green Bay’s offense and should surpass 200 carries if he stays healthy.

Projection: 240 carries for 1030 rushing yards 10 total touchdowns 31 catches for 250 receiving yards (188 pts standard, 219 pts PPR)

16. RB Reggie Bush (Detroit)

The Lions plan to utilize Bush the way the Saints utilized him, when he averaged 4.9 catches per game. That’s 78 catches over a 16 game season. That sounds like a lot, but he’s capable of doing so in this offense. The Lions have said they want to get him 80 catches. The inferior Joique Bell caught 52 passes in a part time role last season and Jahvid Best averaged 62 catches per 16 games during his short time as the Lions’ pass catching back before he got hurt. The only thing stopping Bush from getting 80 catches could be injuries. He missed 20 games in 5 seasons with the Saints and, though he only missed 1 in 2 years with the Dolphins, he’s now going into his age 28 season and his 8th year in the league.

Bush will probably also be their leading rusher, but he won’t get a ton of carries. For one, the Lions don’t run the ball very often. Two, Bush has never had more than 262 touches in a season and the Lions probably don’t want to go over that. They’ll prefer him to see his touches in the air (maybe 170 carries, 75 catches). Three, they do have two other backs capable of carrying the football. Joique Bell and Mikel Leshoure will see carries behind him.

Projection: 170 carries for 750 rushing yards 8 total touchdowns 75 catches for 600 receiving yards (183 pts standard, 258 pts PPR)

17. RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Indianapolis)

8/16/13: Chuck Pagano called Bradshaw an every down back. He’ll be their lead back, with Ballard serving as a backup. The only concern is injuries.

Bradshaw was cut by the Giants this off-season going into just his age 27 season because they grew tired of his laundry list of injury problems. It took him a while to get picked up this off-season, but he’s one of the toughest running backs in the NFL, missing just 7 games in 4 years despite all the injury problems.He’s rushed for 3687 yards and 30 touchdowns on 831 carries in those 4 seasons, a 4.4 yards per carry clip, and he’s added 125 catches for 1033 yards and 2 touchdowns in the air. He’s also averaged 15.9 carries per game over the past 3 years as a starter, so being able to work in tandem with another back will help him.

Projection: 220 carries for 920 rushing yards 8 total touchdowns 35 catches for 280 receiving yards (168 pts standard, 203 pts PPR)

18. RB Frank Gore (San Francisco)

For the 3rd straight year, the 49ers have drafted a running back. While Marcus Lattimore might not play a snap this year due to injury, it’s just another reminder that the 49ers feel Gore doesn’t have much left. Heading into his age 30 season, Gore has played all 16 games in each of the last 2 years after doing so just once in his first 6 seasons, but the reason for that is because the 49ers have cut his touches per game in each of the last 2 years, from 22.6 in 2010 to 18.7 in 2011 to 17.9 in 2012. Expect that number to shrink down even more in 2013 with Kendall Hunter returning from injury and LaMichael James getting a bigger role and he’s no lock to play all 16 games.

It’s also worth noting that he’s tired out down the stretch in each of the last 2 seasons. In 2011, he averaged 4.9 YPC in his first 8 games and 3.6 YPC in his last 8 games, while in 2012, he went from 5.5 YPC to 4.0 YPC. He’s also not as big a part of the passing game under Jim Harbaugh as he used to be, catching 45 passes in the last 2 years combined after averaging 51 per year in the previous 5 years. Colin Kaepernick, who rarely checks down, threw to him even less, as he caught just 11 passes in his 10 starts. Gore is a RB2, but one with little upside and a lot of downside considering his age and the amount of competition in the backfield.

Projection: 220 carries for 990 rushing yards 8 total touchdowns 20 catches for 160 yards (163 pts standard, 183 pts PPR)

19. RB Lamar Miller (Miami)

Daniel Thomas has shown very little in his two years as a pro, rushing for 906 yards on 256 carries (just 3.5 YPC) and the coaching staff that drafted him is gone. Miller is the clear starter at this point in the off-season and that does not figure to change. He’s a solid bet for 1000 yards as the new feature back in Miami and should have right around the 227 carries Reggie Bush had last season.

Projection: 230 carries for 1010 rushing yards 7 total touchdowns 25 catches for 180 receiving yards  (161 pts standard, 186 pts PPR)

20. RB Steven Jackson (Atlanta)

Steven Jackson can’t be worse than Michael Turner, but Falcons fans might not be getting the guy they’re expecting. He turns 30 in July and has 2395 career carries. He’s 26th all-time in rushing yards at 10,135, but the average top-25 all-time running back has his last 1000 yard season in his age 30 season at 2602 carrier carries. And after players have their drop off, they average just 169 carries per season at 3.5 yards per carry and just 5 touchdowns, so they’re really a non-factor as a back. He should have one more good year in him, but there are no guarantees at this point in his career.

Projection: 200 carries for 860 rushing yards 8 total touchdowns 30 catches for 250 rushing yards (159 pts standard, 189 pts PPR)

[yard_barker]

21. RB Darren McFadden (Oakland)

McFadden’s supporters are always making excuses for him. Last year it was that he didn’t fit the blocking scheme (does that explain why he averaged just 1.9 yards per carry after contact, 3rd worst in the NFL, and broke just 16 tackles on 216 carries?) However, the fact remains that we’re entering year 6 of Darren McFadden in NFL and he’s never had more than 223 carries in a season, he averages just 4.3 yards per carry for his career, he’s coming off of a season in which he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry, and he’s played just 57 of 80 possible games, maxing out with 13 games played in a season. At his current ADP in the 3rd round, let him be someone else’s problem. He’s Ryan Mathews with a better PR team.

Projection: 200 carries for 880 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 43 catches for 320 receiving yards (156 pts standard, 199 pts PPR)

22. RB DeMarco Murray (Dallas)

DeMarco Murray might be a little overrated off of the 25 carry/253 yard performance against St. Louis in his first NFL start as a 3rd round rookie in 2011. That was a completely hapless Rams defense at the time and if you take out that game, he’s averaged just 4.4 yards per carry in his career. Last season, he averaged 4.1 yards per carry and since his first 4 starts, he’s managed just 866 yards on 225 carries, a 3.8 YPC clip. He’s not as proven as people think. He’s also been hampered by numerous injuries, missing the end of his rookie season in 2011 and being limited to 161 carries in 2012. Injuries can not only keep a running back off the field, but also sap his explosiveness and Murray has injury issues dating back to his collegiate days at Oklahoma. There’s a reason he fell to the 3rd round.

Projection: 200 carries for 840 rushing yards and 7 total touchdowns 37 catches for 290 yards (155 pts, 192 pts PPR)

23. RB Chris Ivory (NY Jets)

In 3 seasons with the Saints, Ivory rushed for 1307 yards and 8 touchdowns on just 256 carries, an impressive 5.0 YPC. Now going to the Jets, he’ll finally get a chance to be atop the depth chart. We’ve seen what Ivory has done in 250 carries in his career and it would be huge if he could do that again. He probably won’t do quite that as he’ll be running against stacked boxes much more often with Mark Sanchez/Geno Smith under center than he was with Drew Brees, but the Jets actually have a solid run blocking offensive line, so they’ll give him help. The other concern is if he can remain effective when getting 15-20 carries per game for an extended period of time, something he’s never done. He’s also had injury issues of his own and is currently battling hamstring problems in Training Camp.

Projection: 230 carries for 1010 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns 14 catches for 100 receiving yards (153 pts standard, 167 pts PPR)

24. RB Shane Vereen (New England)

Danny Woodhead is gone so Vereen will take over a bigger role in the running game. Woodhead and Vereen combined for 138 carries last season and Vereen could be around there this year, even before you consider that the Patriots might run more. Vereen is also a good bet to exceed Woodhead’s 40 catches for 446 yards and 3 touchdowns from last season. He is a more talented and explosive back and including the playoffs, he had 15 catches for 254 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns on just 117 pass snaps last season and he’s been lining up all over the formation this off-season and he could be the Patriots’ version of Darren Sproles or Reggie Bush. He could get 200 touches.

Projection: 140 carries for 630 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 60 catches for 500 receiving yards (149 pts standard, 209 pts PPR)

25. RB Ryan Matthews (San Diego)

Mathews looked on his way to a big time breakout year in 2012, with backup Mike Tolbert no longer stealing carries from him and coming off a season 2011 season in which he averaged 4.9 yards per carry on 222 carries, with 50 catches for 455 yards, and 6 total touchdowns. However, injuries reared their head, as they always have for him, limiting him to just 184 carries, 3.8 yards per carry, 1 touchdown and 2 broken clavicles.

He’s missed 10 games in his first 3 years in the league, never playing more than 14 games, and his injury problems date back to his collegiate days. The new regime does not seem nearly as bullish on his upside as the old one and he figures to work in a running back committee with Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead. He may be better, more efficient, and less likely to get hurt being used in this fashion, but it’s starting to look like he’ll never be the lead back and LaDainian Tomlinson replacement they were expecting.

Projection: 200 carries for 840 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 40 catches for 290 receiving yards (149 pts standard, 189 pts PPR)

26. RB David Wilson (NY Giants)

Wilson showed a lot of explosiveness as a rookie, especially on special teams, but he only got 71 carries. That should be closer to 200 this season. However, Andre Brown will continue to steal carries from him, especially around the goal line. The coaching staff doesn’t 100% trust Wilson get and Brown is the better short yardage and passing down back.

Projection: 200 carries for 900 rushing yards 7 total touchdowns 20 catches for 140 rushing yards (146 pts standard, 166 pts PPR)

27. RB Mark Ingram (New Orleans)

Mark Ingram will once again be the lead back and hoping to get things together in his 3rd year, after going in the 1st round in 2011. He’s averaged just 3.9 yards per carry since and had just 278 carries, struggling through injuries. He could breakout this season though and the Saints seem confident in him, trading away their top insurance option in Chris Ivory.

Projection: 200 carries for 880 rushing yards 8 total touchdowns 12 catches for 100 yards (146 pts standard, 158 pts PPR)

28. RB Darren Sproles (New Orleans)

Darren Sproles is essentially more of a slot receiver than a running back. He’s had 135 carries and 161 catches in the last 2 seasons and is a threat to score at any time, scoring 17 touchdowns. I don’t know why his role would change this season.

Projection: 60 carries for 300 yards 8 total touchdowns 77 catches for 670 receiving yards (145 pts standard, 222 pts PPR)

29. RB Daryl Richardson (St. Louis)

8/20/13: Daryl Richardson has been named the starting running back of the St. Louis Rams. He shouldn’t feel too comfortable as Isaiah Pead and/or Zac Stacy could both steal carries and even starts from him this season, but he gets moved up. Steven Jackson’s primary running back, Richardson rushed for 475 yards on 95 carries and also caught 24 passes for 163 yards. He’s a solid bet to go over 200 touches. Pead will be the change of pace back. There’s still an opportunity for Zac Stacy to eventually become a starter at some point this season if the unproven players above him on the depth chart don’t impress, but he’s not really worth drafting. He might be a nice late season waiver wire pickup if anything.

The Rams have a 3 way battle for the starting running back job and all 3 should see carries. You shouldn’t use a high pick on any of them unless one starts to run away with the job. They’re all draftable though. I consider Richardson the favorite. He was Jackson’s primary backup last season, rushing for 475 yards on 98 carries, while contributing 24 catches for 163 yards. The 7th round rookie leapfrogged 2nd round rookie Isaiah Pead on the depth chart for that job.

Projection: 180 carries for 790 rushing yards 6 total touchdowns 35 catches for 250 receiving yards (140 pts standard, 175 pts PPR)

30. Giovani Bernard (Cincinnati)

8/27/13: Bernard is not a full package back at just 5-8 202, but we’ve seen plenty of backs go in the 2nd round or later with similar billings and go to be to very good running backs, including Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew. It’s unclear how much he can contribute as a rookie, however, as neither of those backs were every down guys until after their 1st season, once they had more time in an NFL weight room. He’ll probably split carries with BJGE, but he’s the more explosive player and more of a factor in the passing game.

Projection: 160 carries for 720 rushing yards 5 total touchdowns 37 catches for 300 yards (132 pts, 169 pts PPR)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

2013 Fantasy Football Top-15 Quarterbacks

1. QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)

In his last 45 games, including the playoffs, Rodgers has thrown for 114 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, and 12738 yards. Over 16 games, that’s 41 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and 4529 yards. He’s also rushed for 1395 yards and 18 touchdowns in 5 years. There’s some concern with his offensive line, but he was sacked 51 times last season and still produced. He’s the #1 fantasy quarterback.

Projection: 4500 passing yards 40 passing touchdowns 9 interceptions 250 rushing yards 3 rushing touchdowns (365 pts standard, 445 pts 6 pt td leagues)

2. QB Cam Newton (Carolina)

Newton was noticeably better in the 2nd half of last season, with 1964 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions, all while rushing for 394 yards and 4 touchdowns. Heading into his 3rd season in the league, it’s very possible he’s turned a corner permanently. There’s immense upside here.

Projection: 4000 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 750 rushing yards, 8 touchdowns (359 pts standard, 409 pts 6 pt td leagues)

3. QB Drew Brees (New Orleans)

There was concern about how Brees would do without Sean Payton last season, but he did fine, completing 63.0% of his passes for an average of 7.7 YPA, 43 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions, while leading the NFL’s #3 ranked scoring offense. He’s now thrown for 5000 yards in 3 of the last 5 seasons, including the past 2, the first quarterback in NFL history to do so. Since 2008, he’s completed 2114 of 3134 (67.5%) for 24730 yards (7.9 YPA), 190 touchdowns, 83 interceptions.

Projection: 5000 passing yards 39 touchdowns 16 interceptions 50 rushing yards 0 rushing touchdowns (329 pts standard, 407 pts 6 pt td leagues)

4. QB Colin Kaepernick (San Francisco)

In 10 starts last year, including playoffs, Kaepernick threw for 2406 yards, with 14 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 502 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns. Over 16 games, that’s 3850 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 803 rushing yards, and 8 touchdowns. Michael Crabtree is out, but Vernon Davis, who did nothing for him until late in the playoff run last year, should be able to make up for his absence along with veteran Anquan Boldin, 2nd year receiver AJ Jenkins and a pair of rookies Quinton Patton and Vance McDonald. I’m not going to quite project those stats for him because he won’t catch anyone by surprise this year, but he’s still a projected top-5 fantasy quarterback.

Projection: 3600 passing yards 22 touchdowns 9 interceptions 700 rushing yards 7 touchdowns (326 pts standard, 370 pts 6 pt TD leagues)

5. QB Tom Brady (New England)

The Patriots may pass fewer times and Brady may average fewer yards per attempt this season, as he ages and with his receiving corps on the decline, but he’ll make the best out of what he has and he remains a top level fantasy quarterback. He’s scored an average of 39 times in the last 3 seasons, while throwing an interception on just 1.4% of his throws.

Projection: 4400 passing yards 35 touchdowns 12 interceptions 70 rushing yards 2 rushing touchdowns (311 pts standard, 381 pts 6 pt td leagues)

[yard_barker]

6. QB Russell Wilson (Seattle)

In the 2nd half of last season, Wilson completed 123 of 183 passes for 1652 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, rushing for 361 yards and 4 touchdowns on 58 attempts. That’s 3304 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions, with 722 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns on 116 attempts over a 16 game season. He won’t match those numbers, because that would be absurd, a 120.3 QB rating with plus rushing ability, but he should surpass his rookie numbers and be a solid QB1.

Projection: 3300 passing yards 27 touchdowns 8 interceptions 550 rushing yards 6 touchdowns (315 pts standard, 369 pts 6 pt td leagues)

7. QB Matt Stafford (Detroit)

One of the weird statistical things about the Lions in 2012 was that Matt Stafford set an NFL record with 727 passing attempts, but managed just 20 touchdowns. Well, somehow a running game that ran just 391 times on the season managed to steal 17 touchdowns away from Stafford, while backup Shaun Hill stole another 2 on 13 attempts. The Lions should remain very pass heavy this year so Stafford should throw a higher percentage of the team’s touchdowns.

There should also be more touchdowns to go around on an offense that figures to turn the ball over fewer times. He probably won’t throw the ball 727 times again, for the same reason why the Lions probably won’t run 72.5 plays per game again, but he could throw 30-35 touchdowns, average around the 6.9 yards per attempt he’s averaged for his career on about 650-660 throws, and keep his interception rate right around the 2.3%-2.4% it’s been at in both of his full seasons as a starter, which puts him around 16 interceptions.

Projection: 4550 passing yards 33 passing touchdowns 16 interceptions 100 rushing yards 1 rushing touchdown (298 pts standard, 364 pts 6 pt td leagues)

8. QB Peyton Manning (Denver)

It’s possible that the addition of Welker can lead to be even further improved Manning, but I don’t find it that likely that Manning will surpass the arguably 2nd best season of his career (at least in terms of QB rating) in what is his age 37 season. It’s more likely that regression to the mean and normal diminishing physical skills for a 37-year-old who has recently had a serious injury lead to an inferior 2013 as compared to 2012 for Manning. Sure, Manning’s mean is still one of the best in the game, but I don’t buy that he’ll be improved over last season just because of Wes Welker’s presence on the slot. Don’t buy too high, especially in a deep year for quarterbacks.

Projection: 4500 passing yards, 35 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 20 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns (292 pts standard, 362 pts 6 pt td leagues)

9. QB Andrew Luck (Indianapolis)

Andrew Luck is an overrated quarterback in real life, but he was great in fantasy football last season and he should be better in both reality and fantasy next season. Pep Hamilton is coming over from Stanford to reunite with Luck as his offensive coordinator and will be installing an offense that fits his skill set better. He’ll also be better protected and another year more experienced. The Colts should still throw about 600 times, even with the team using more two-tight end sets, because both of their tight ends are comfortable pass catching, and Luck should be more efficient on those 600 throws. He also adds added value on the ground

Projection: 4350 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 270 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns (291 pts standard, 343 pts 6 pt td leagues)

10. QB Matt Ryan (Atlanta)

Dirk Koetter’s arrival in Atlanta led to Matt Ryan attempting a career high 615 passes last season, which led to a career high in completions (422), yards (4719), and touchdowns (32). He was also the most efficient he’s ever been on a per play basis, ranking 5th in the NFL with a 99.4 QB rating, a career high. Also a career high was his 68.6% completion percentage and his 7.7 yards per attempt were the 2nd highest of his career. While he did throw 14 interceptions, his interception rate of 2.3% was actually right in line with his career average. He could see inferior production this season as a result of a tougher schedule, though not a lot inferior.

Projection: 4500 passing yards 30 touchdowns 15 interceptions 100 rushing yards 1 touchdown (286 pts standard, 346 pts 6 pt td leagues)

[google_ad]

11. QB Tony Romo (Dallas)

In his career, Romo has completed 64.7% of his passes for an average of 7.9 YPA and 177 touchdowns to 91 interceptions, good for a career QB rating of 95.6, 5th highest all-time behind Aaron Rodgers, Steve Young, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning. The 19 interceptions he threw last season, which led the league, tied a career high and was the same amount he threw in his last two full seasons combined. The Cowboys might not throw 658 times in 2012, which was 3rd most in the NFL and 90 more attempts than any Cowboy team in the Tony Romo era. However, this is more and more becoming a passing league and while they’d probably prefer not to have to pass that many times in 2013, they’ll still be a pass heavy team that should throw the ball at least 600 times.

Projection: 4450 passing yards for 29 touchdowns 15 interceptions 50 rushing yards 1 touchdown (275 pts standard, 333 pts 6 pt td leagues)

12. QB Robert Griffin (Washington)

Griffin is expected to be ready for week 1 of this season, but he has a history of knee problems so it’s unclear if he’ll be able to stay healthy for all 16 games and at what percent of his peak ability he’ll be able to play. They’re already talking about limiting his carries, which is such a big part of his game. He also shouldn’t be expected to maintain the 1.3% interception rate he had last season, even if he is healthy.

Projection: 3150 passing yards 19 passing touchdowns 9 interceptions 550 rushing yards 5 rushing touchdowns (269 pts standard, 307 pts 6 pt td leagues)

13. QB Eli Manning (NY Giants)

Eli threw for 4933 yards in 2011, but other than that has never gone over 4021. He proved that 2011 was a fluke by throwing for just 3948 yards in 2012. It’s not that he’s a bad quarterback, but the Giants prefer a balanced attack. I do expect him to go over those 4021 yards this season because he’s got a loaded receiving corps with Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Myers, and Reuben Randle.

Projection: 4200 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 50 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns (263 pts standard, 323 pts 6 pt td leagues)

14. QB Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh)

Roethlisberger was on pace for 4406 yards, 32 touchdowns, and just 8 interceptions at the halfway point last season, before getting hurt and missing 3 ½ games. He wasn’t the same once he returned either. Unfortunately, Roethlisberger has played in all 16 games just once in his career. He should be improved over last year’s 3265 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions, but he won’t reach those extrapolated numbers.

Projection: 3750 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 9 interceptions, 100 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown (260 pts standard, 316 pts 6 pt TD leagues)

15. QB Joe Flacco (Baltimore)

7/28/13: Anquan Boldin was Joe Flacco’s leading receiver last year and Dennis Pitta was the guy who was supposed to step up as the top complement to 3rd year deep threat Torrey Smith. Now Pitta is out for the season with Boldin gone and it’s just Torrey Smith and a bunch of question marks in the receiving corps. Flacco will make do because that’s what good quarterbacks do. He might not have a secondary go to receiver, but he’ll throw the ball around and I do believe that a full season of Bryant McKinnie at left tackle and Jim Caldwell at offensive coordinator will help him and that he should be able to maintain some of his post-season gains. But I’m obviously knocking down a bit with Pitta done for the year.

Throughout his 5 year career, he’s been a very inconsistent week to week quarterback, but an incredibly consistent year to year quarterback, proving himself to be a slightly above average quarterback and nothing more. His completion percentages have always fallen between 57.6% and 63.1%. His YPAs have always fallen between 6.7 and 7.4. His touchdowns have always fallen between 20 and 25 (with the exception of his rookie year) and his interceptions have always fallen between 10 and 12. Of course, that all changed in the post-season and while I don’t expect him to keep that up, I do expect him to have his career best regular season this year.

Projection: 3900 passing yards 26 touchdowns 11 interceptions 70 rushing yards 2 touchdowns (257 pts standard, 309 pts 6 pt TD leagues)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Green Bay Packers 2013 Fantasy Football Projections

QB Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)

In his last 45 games, including the playoffs, Rodgers has thrown for 114 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, and 12738 yards. Over 16 games, that’s 41 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and 4529 yards. He’s also rushed for 1395 yards and 18 touchdowns in 5 years. There’s some concern with his offensive line, but he was sacked 51 times last season and still produced. He’s the #1 fantasy quarterback.

Projection: 4500 passing yards 40 passing touchdowns 9 interceptions 250 rushing yards 3 rushing touchdowns (365 pts standard, 445 pts 6 pt td leagues)

RB Eddie Lacy (Green Bay)

8/27/13: DuJuan Harris is out for the season with a knee injury. He was Lacy’s only real competition for carries. Fellow rookie Johnathan Franklins has appeared overmatched thus far, while neither Alex Green nor James Starks is very good. Lacy is still a rookie and he’s still on a pass heavy offense, but he has plenty of talent and he’ll have plenty of room to run and goal line opportunities on Green Bay’s talented offense. He’s a RB2 that could be drafted in the 2nd round if you want to double up on backs.

Eddie Lacy appears to be the favorite to be the lead back by a good margin. It’s tough to count on rookies, but Lacy has serious scoring potential in Green Bay’s offense and should surpass 200 carries if he stays healthy.

Projection: 240 carries for 1030 rushing yards 10 total touchdowns 31 catches for 250 receiving yards (188 pts standard, 219 pts PPR)

WR Randall Cobb (Green Bay)

Randall Cobb is going in his 3rd year in the league, a frequent breakout year for receivers and there’s definitely to possibility of a breakout for him. Cobb was 11th in the NFL among eligible wide receivers averaging 2.26 yards per route run, so he was an incredibly efficient target. However, he needs to cut down on the drops (of the 22 incompletions Rodgers threw to him, 11 were drops) and he needs to show more on the outside for the Packers to give him more snaps. I like his chances with Jennings gone, Nelson hurt, and Jones possibly losing playing time to the superior Cobb. Cobb might be a healthier Percy Harvin with a better quarterback. You can always count on him to get you another extra 100 yards on the ground too.

Projection: 93 catches for 1130 receiving yards 11 total touchdowns 10 carries for 100 yards (189 pts standard, 282 pts PPR)

WR Jordy Nelson (Green Bay)

8/25/13: Jordy Nelson returned to practice after knee surgery today, 2 weeks before the Packers’ first game of the season. It’s obviously a very good sign for his week 1 status and makes me a little bit more confident in a bounce back year.

Jordy Nelson caught 68 passes for 1263 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2011 and was off to an equally good season in 2012. Nelson caught 40 passes for 532 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns in the first 7 games of last season. That’s 91 catches for 1216 yards and 11 touchdowns over 16 games. However, a hamstring problem cost him 4 games and limited him in others. There was definitely bounce back potential, but he recently needed knee surgery and, however minor it was, it’s never what you want to hear. His status for week 1 is now doubtful. I still expect a bounce back year somewhat, but it hurts his stock.

Projection: 80 catches for 1120 receiving yards 10 touchdowns (172 pts standard, 252 pts PPR)

WR James Jones (Green Bay)

8/25/13: With Randall Cobb taking over a bigger role and Jordy Nelson coming back from injury, James Jones could see up to 100 fewer passing snaps than he did last season, so he’s unlikely to reach the 64 catches for 784 yards he had last season and even if he were to catch 64 passes again, it’s unlikely he’d convert 14 touchdowns. Something like 2010 (50/679/5) or 2011 (38/635/7) is much more likely. Leave him alone.

Jones is pretty much an average starting wide receiver that Rodgers makes look better. He averaged just 1.29 yards per route run, 66th out of 81 eligible wide receivers, last season and he could be losing some playing time to Randall Cobb, a much more efficient target last year. Jones saved his fantasy value by scoring on 14 of his 64 catches, but that kind of rate is impossible for anyone to keep up. Let someone else overpay for him.

Projection: 53 catches for 670 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (103 pts standard, 156 pts PPR)

TE Jermichael Finley (Green Bay)

Jermichael Finley closed last season very well, catching 26 catches for 279 yards in the final 5 games of the season, but we’ve seen in the past he’s capable of being dominant for a short stretch of time. What we haven’t seen is him maintain that level of play over a full season as his 2011 season, in which he caught 55 passes for 767 yards and 8 touchdowns, remains his best season in 5 years in the league. I don’t expect anything different from him as in 2013.

Projection: 57 catches for 690 receiving yards 6 touchdowns (105 pts standard, 162 pts PPR)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Chicago Bears 2013 Fantasy Football Projections

QB Jay Cutler (Chicago)

In 3 years with the Broncos, Jay Cutler completed 62.5% of his passes for an average of 7.4 YPA, 54 touchdowns, and 37 interceptions, a quarterback rating of 87.1. However, going to the Bears stunted his statistical growth, as he’s completed 59.6% of his passes for an average of 7.1 YPA, 82 touchdowns, and 63 interceptions, a quarterback rating of 81.8. However, I don’t think he’s become a worse quarterback. In fact, he might have become a better quarterback as he’s matured. We just haven’t noticed because of his lack of supporting cast.

He should be noticeably better statistically this season with an offensive minded Head Coach and a better offensively supporting cast.  The Bears should also throw more frequently this season because they’ll have more drives (with the defense scoring on their own less often) and with Marc Trestman coming in as Head Coach. He also has underrated athleticism, rushing for 1116 yards and 6 touchdowns on 262 carries in 93 games thus far in his career. He also ran a 4.77 40 at The Combine, which isn’t bad. Trestman could utilize that athleticism more than any Head Coach ever has.

Projection: 3900 passing yards 24 passing touchdowns 16 interceptions 250 rushing yards 2 rushing touchdowns (257 pts standard, 305 pts 6 pt td leagues)

RB Matt Forte (Chicago)

Forte has missed just 7 games in 5 seasons (though they’ve all been in the last 2 seasons) and totaled 1529 touches (1262 carries, 267 receptions) in 75 games, 20.4 per game. He’s averaged 4.2 yards per carry and with more complementary offensive talent around him, he could see that number increase this season. As long as he doesn’t get hurt (always the caveat for running backs) or prematurely age going into his age 28 season, he should have another solid season.

Projection: 250 carries for 1100 rushing yards 9 total touchdowns 50 catches for 400 yards (204 pts standard, 254 pts PPR)

WR Brandon Marshall (Chicago)

8/28/13: Brandon Marshall is upset that the Bears are not taking his hip problem, as he recovers from surgery, seriously. While the hip could be a problem that limits him this season, the bigger concern is Marshall, a notorious headache for coaches, being at odds with his coaching staff and speaking out publicly unprompted about the issue. It’s not a serious issue either way, but it’s enough to give me pause with Marshall in the first 2 rounds of a draft.

After Brandon Marshall, who caught 118 passes for 1508 yards and 11 touchdowns on 181 attempts, no one else on the Bears had more than 44 catches (Matt Forte), 375 yards (Earl Bennett), 3 touchdowns (Alshon Jeffery), or 59 targets (Forte). Marshall was targeted on an absurd 181 on 462 aimed passes, 39.2%. That makes your passing game so predictable and one dimensional and is a big part of reason why 7 of the team’s 16 interceptions came on throws to Marshall. This year, there’s more talent around Marshall, which could hurt his production (though not too much as the Bears will pass more and he’ll see fewer triple teams), but it’ll definitely help their offense as a whole.

Projection: 91 catches for 1250 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (179 pts standard, 270 pts PPR)

WR Alshon Jeffery (Chicago)

8/28/13: With Marshall moving down, I’m moving Alshon Jeffery up, though Jeffery’s dominant pre-season alone might have been enough to move him up. He’s worth a flier in the later mid rounds and has WR3 upside.

As a rookie, Jeffery didn’t do much, catching just 24 passes for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns, but rookie receivers don’t usually do much. He also missed 6 games with injury and played a total of 445 snaps. Reports have been very positive going into his 2nd season in the league and he could, at least, be an average starter opposite Marshall and get open with Marshall drawing the coverage his way.

Projection: 60 catches for 750 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns (111 pts standard, 171 pts PPR)

TE Martellus Bennett (Chicago)

Bennett was a 2nd round pick in 2008 by the Cowboys, but he was stuck as a pure blocker behind Jason Witten in 4 years in Dallas. However, he excelled as a blocker and then in his first year as a starter with the Giants, he caught 55 passes for 626 yards and 5 touchdowns. He’s not a great pass catcher, but he’s one of the best all-around tight ends in the NFL. He should have similar receiving numbers this season.

Projection: 50 catches for 600 receiving yards 6 touchdowns (96 pts standard, 146 pts PPR)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Detroit Lions 2013 Fantasy Football Projections

QB Matt Stafford (Detroit)

One of the weird statistical things about the Lions in 2012 was that Matt Stafford set an NFL record with 727 passing attempts, but managed just 20 touchdowns. Well, somehow a running game that ran just 391 times on the season managed to steal 17 touchdowns away from Stafford, while backup Shaun Hill stole another 2 on 13 attempts. The Lions should remain very pass heavy this year so Stafford should throw a higher percentage of the team’s touchdowns.

There should also be more touchdowns to go around on an offense that figures to turn the ball over fewer times. He probably won’t throw the ball 727 times again, for the same reason why the Lions probably won’t run 72.5 plays per game again, but he could throw 30-35 touchdowns, average around the 6.9 yards per attempt he’s averaged for his career on about 650-660 throws, and keep his interception rate right around the 2.3%-2.4% it’s been at in both of his full seasons as a starter, which puts him around 16 interceptions.

Projection: 4550 passing yards 33 passing touchdowns 16 interceptions 100 rushing yards 1 rushing touchdown (298 pts standard, 364 pts 6 pt td leagues)

RB Reggie Bush (Detroit)

The Lions plan to utilize Bush the way the Saints utilized him, when he averaged 4.9 catches per game. That’s 78 catches over a 16 game season. That sounds like a lot, but he’s capable of doing so in this offense. The Lions have said they want to get him 80 catches. The inferior Joique Bell caught 52 passes in a part time role last season and Jahvid Best averaged 62 catches per 16 games during his short time as the Lions’ pass catching back before he got hurt. The only thing stopping Bush from getting 80 catches could be injuries. He missed 20 games in 5 seasons with the Saints and, though he only missed 1 in 2 years with the Dolphins, he’s now going into his age 28 season and his 8th year in the league.

Bush will probably also be their leading rusher, but he won’t get a ton of carries. For one, the Lions don’t run the ball very often. Two, Bush has never had more than 262 touches in a season and the Lions probably don’t want to go over that. They’ll prefer him to see his touches in the air (maybe 170 carries, 75 catches). Three, they do have two other backs capable of carrying the football. Joique Bell and Mikel Leshoure will see carries behind him.

Projection: 170 carries for 750 rushing yards 8 total touchdowns 75 catches for 600 receiving yards (183 pts standard, 258 pts PPR)

RB Joique Bell (Detroit)

8/26/13: Joique Bell has beaten out Mikel Leshoure for the #2 back job behind Reggie Bush, so he’s the handcuff you want for the injury prone Bush. He’s also worth a pick on his own merits because he’s an excellent pass catcher and underrated runner who will see touches on this offense. Leshoure isn’t worth drafting.

Mikel Leshoure was a 2nd round pick in 2011, but has largely been a disappointment to this point in his career. He might not even win the #2 running back battle this year, as Joique Bell averaged 5.0 yards per carry to Leshoure’s 3.7 last season. Leshoure is also not near the pass catcher that Bell is and if Bush were to get hurt, Bell would probably take over his role. Leshoure will see some carries as an inside runner, but Bell will probably be 2nd among Detroit running backs in touches. If Bush is Darren Sproles, Bell is Pierre Thomas, who has averaged 152 touches in the last 2 seasons. He’s the handcuff you want for Bush owners and a worthwhile late round flier for anyone because of Bush’s injury history.

Projection: 110 carries for 520 rushing yards 4 total touchdowns 44 catches for 330 receiving yards (109 pts standard, 153 pts PPR)

WR Calvin Johnson (Detroit)

Another one of the other weird statistical things about the Lions in 2012 was Calvin Johnson sitting the single season receiving record (surpassing Jerry Rice in week 16 no less), but scoring just 5 times. That total should increase for some of the same reasons that Stafford’s should. He probably won’t have a record setting season again, but he’s by far the best receiver on a team that passes a ridiculous amount, has a good young quarterback, and doesn’t have a lot of other passing options. He’s consistently able to beat double and triple teams and the 96 catches for 1681 yards he had in 2011 now seem like a floor. He should have around 1700 receiving yards again and almost definitely will break double digit touchdowns again.

Projection: 110 catches for 1750 receiving yards 12 touchdowns (247 pts standard, 357 pts PPR)

WR Ryan Broyles (Detroit)

Broyles was an incredibly productive collegiate receiver at the University of Oklahoma, catching 349 passes for 4586 yards and 45 touchdowns, but a torn ACL suffered late in his final collegiate season, along with a lack of elite size or speed, dropped him to the Lions in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft. However, he plays better than his measurables on tape and is a remarkably hard worker and quick healer.

He made his debut week 3 last season and eventually became a starter down the stretch, catching 22 passes for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns on 30 targets on 190 routes run, before tearing the other ACL. Once again, Broyles did a fantastic job recovering from that injury and has been practicing in Training Camp and is on pace to play week 1. Obviously, he’s an injury risk and he might not be 100%, but there’s some intriguing breakout potential for him as a secondary receiver opposite Johnson.

Projection: 60 catches for 760 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (106 pts standard, 166 pts PPR)

TE Brandon Pettigrew (Detroit)

Pettigrew struggled mightily last season, catching 59 passes for 567 yards and 3 touchdowns on 95 targets, with 9 drops. He averaged just 1.18 yards per route. The 2009 1st round pick is a good run blocker, but has largely been a disappointment since the Lions drafted him. He’s had better years and it’s possible the ankle injury he played through most of the season was part of why he struggled so much, but he’s never been much better, so I don’t see a big improvement.

Projection: 55 catches for 600 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (90 pts standard, 145 pts PPR)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

Minnesota Vikings 2013 Fantasy Football Projections

QB Christian Ponder (Minnesota)

Christian Ponder averaged 5.4 yards per attempt in the 2nd half of last season after Percy Harvin got hurt and now Harvin is gone. The Vikings have brought in both Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson, but the former has seen better days, while the latter is incredibly raw and might not even start as a rookie. You can do a lot better in a QB2.

Projection: 3000 passing yards 17 passing touchdowns 13 interceptions 250 rushing yards 2 rushing touchdowns (199 pts standard, 233 pts PPR)

RB Adrian Peterson (Minnesota)

Of the 28 other players to ever rush for 1700+ yards in a season, only 3 exceeded their rushing total the following season. The average 1700+ yard rusher rushed for 615 fewer yards the following season. Sure, some of them got seriously hurt, but it’s not like it would be impossible for Peterson to do so and even when you take out the 4 players who didn’t make it to 200 carries the following season, they still averaged 474 yards fewer the following season. On top of that, those players also averaged 7/10ths of a yard fewer per carry, going from 5.1 yards per carry to 4.4 yards per carry. Now, Peterson is definitely not going to have a bad year. In fact, he’s still my pick to lead the NFL in rushing, but you can lead the NFL in rushing with 1600 yards.

Projection: 320 carries for 1630 rushing yards 12 total touchdowns 35 catches for 240 receiving yards (259 pts standard, 294 pts PPR)

WR Greg Jennings (Minnesota)

Jennings once averaged 75 catches for 1223 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns per season from 2008-2010, while not missing game due to injury, but in the past 2 seasons, he’s missed 11 games with injury and was limited to 103 catches for 1315 yards and 13 touchdowns total. Now he goes from the Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers combination he spent his entire career with in Green Bay to one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL in Christian Ponder. He’s going into his age 30 season and has had a lot of trouble staying healthy lately. Receivers switching teams mid-season usually disappoint. And he’s also spent a lot of time this off-season talking about Rodgers and the Packers like a scorned ex-girlfriend, to the point where Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier had to tell him to stop. I don’t know if that’s a bad sign, but it’s not a good sign. Let him be someone else’s problem.

Projection: 60 catches for 770 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (107 pts standard, 167 pts PPR)

TE Kyle Rudolph (Minnesota)

In his 3rd year in the league, Rudolph could more than the 53 passes he caught last season and could average more than 9.3 yards per catch, but he’s unlikely to score a touchdown on 16.9% of his catches, especially on a team that scored just 18 touchdowns through the air last season (Rudolph had 9). Don’t get suckered in with the touchdown numbers. He’s a talented tight end, but his quarterback situation makes him a mere TE2.

Projection: 57 catches for 600 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (90 pts standard, 147 pts PPR)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

New York Jets 2013 Fantasy Football Projections

QB Geno Smith (NY Jets)

8/29/13: Mark Sanchez sounds like he’ll miss multiple weeks with injury, so Geno Smith, by default, looks to be the Jets’ starting quarterback. It’ll probably remain that way even when Sanchez returns because the Jets won’t want to kill the rookie’s confidence by benching him mid-season. Don’t expect much from Smith though. The history of non-1st round pick quarterbacks in the NFL is pretty poor, especially as rookies (Andy Dalton and Russell Wilson are the exception not the rule). Smith looked awful in his first extended pre-season action during the 3rd pre-season game.

Projection: 3000 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, 16 interceptions, 200 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown (163 pts standard, 187 pts 6 pt td leagues)

RB Chris Ivory (NY Jets)

In 3 seasons with the Saints, Ivory rushed for 1307 yards and 8 touchdowns on just 256 carries, an impressive 5.0 YPC. Now going to the Jets, he’ll finally get a chance to be atop the depth chart. We’ve seen what Ivory has done in 250 carries in his career and it would be huge if he could do that again. He probably won’t do quite that as he’ll be running against stacked boxes much more often with Mark Sanchez/Geno Smith under center than he was with Drew Brees, but the Jets actually have a solid run blocking offensive line, so they’ll give him help. The other concern is if he can remain effective when getting 15-20 carries per game for an extended period of time, something he’s never done. He’s also had injury issues of his own and is currently battling hamstring problems in Training Camp.

Projection: 230 carries for 1010 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns 14 catches for 100 receiving yards (153 pts standard, 167 pts PPR)

RB Bilal Powell (NY Jets)

8/25/13: Bilal Powell has been working as the starter for the Jets this pre-season and getting more touches than Chris Ivory. This won’t continue into the season. The Jets are just limiting Ivory’s carries as he works through hamstring problems and trying to keep him fresh for the regular season. However, Powell is the clear #2 back and is worth a late round flier because he’ll be the starter should the injury prone Ivory miss any time. Hamstring problems tend to linger. He’ll also play the majority of the passing downs.

Projection: 120 carries for 440 rushing yards 4 total touchdowns 25 catches for 200 receiving yards (88 pts standard, 113 pts standard)

WR Jeremy Kerley (NY Jets)

Likely to be without Santonio Holmes, the Jets will go forward with the highly uninspiring trio of Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, and Braylon Edwards at wide receiver. Kerley is the only one who is any good in that bunch. He led the team in receiving with 56 catches for 827 yards and 2 touchdowns last season and he did it on 88 targets so he wasn’t just a volume receiver. The 5-9 188 pounder is primarily a slot specialist. He’s the only Jets receiver worth owning and even he doesn’t have much upside.

Projection: 54 catches for 800 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (110 pts standard, 164 pts PPR)

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]

[switch_ad_hub]